Comparison and Contrast of “The Destructors”, by Graham Greene and “The Rocking Horse Winner”, by D.H. Lawrence
This comparison and contrast of “The Destructors”, by Graham Greene and “The Rocking Horse Winner”, by D.H. Lawrence will center on selected parts of stories from the opening through the conclusion. I will seek to compare and contrast both authors’ choices of characters, themes, techniques of suspense, moral statements, and conclusions.
“The Destructors” and “The Rocking Horse Winner” were both written in the third person by British authors and set in post war Great Britain. “The Destructors” was written post World War II and “The Rocking Horse Winner” was written post World War I. Misery caused by poverty is the underlying theme of each story. The significance of the period each story was penned can easily be understood when considering the miserable living conditions of the people of post war Great Britain.
The characters in “The characters in “The Destructors” are not as fully developed as those in “The Rocking Horse Winner”. In “The Destructors” the characters are bound together as a distinct unit or a gang. Their overall interaction is based primarily on the destruction of Old Misery’s house. Dialogue between the gang members is limited to a great extent on the house’s destruction. In contrast, “The Rocking Horse Winner” characters, Paul, his mother, his uncle, and Bassett, are in constant conflict over poverty and bad luck as opposed to wealth and good luck. “The Destructors” is a story about the gang-style activities of young boys living in the inner-city poverty of post-war London and their conspiracy toward destroying an old man’s house. The opening of “The Rocking Horse Winner” sets the tone, mood, introduction of its principal characters, and theme of a poverty stricken family and Paul’s struggle to overcome their need for more money and bring luck to the family.
Through “T he Rocking Horse Winner’s” theme of the quest for materialism is realized in the end. In “The Destructors” materialism is destroyed. Where Paul in “The Rocking Horse Winner” strives to fulfill his family’s need for more money; in “The Destructors”, T. along with Blackie, burns seventy-pound notes in what T. called “a celebration”. In both stories, there is an intense struggle to satisfy the frustration over being impoverished.
Suspense is created in “The Destructors” by means of the time frame in which the gang has to do their work. The gang expected Old Misery to return home on a certain day and at a certain hour. Suspense is quickened when Old Misery returned home early and some gang members were still inside. The suspense heightened yet again...